Paintings and Cake

Yesterday I also met up with the cast of Paintings and Cake, and took a few photos before, during and after their performance at Edinburgh Fringe.

On Camdram you can read:

Two friends are planning to go out one evening, somewhere, to an unspecified place. But their evening is constantly interrupted by the entrance of an enigmatic character. The scene transforms. We travel through time, to post-war Paris, to the time of the pagan gods, to eighteenth century Spain. We visit Marie Antoinette, step into Goya’s etchings of war, and discover the forgotten story of a mother. But where are the two friends going? And what are they looking for?

Rosa Tyler-Clark
Ellen McGrath and Isobel Leidler
Isobel Leidler trapped in a painting.

I peered into their eyes. But they never noticed me. They turned away to move onto the next frame before they could notice. And a whole year I was stuck. Everything at a standstill. Not even the weather would change. Until one day, a child! A child noticed. Saw me looking back. Chuckled, and waved at me. And all of a sudden, the outlines of the painting became hazy, receding into and away from each other. I took my chance. I stepped out.

Isobel Leidler, Ellen McGrath and Tim Atkin
Ellen McGrath, Tim Atkin and Isobel Leidler
Ellen McGrath and Tim Atkin

B: Once upon a time, there was a smile-catcher, who would go around capturing smiles. Whenever he saw someone smiling, that person would lose that particular smile, forever.
A: The smile-catcher told magnificent stories. He went from town to town, to trick people into smiling.
B: One day, he walked into a town called Laugh-a-lot. The adults would gather around to listen to what he said. They would smile and they would smile and he would pocket the smiles like they were the price of admission.
A: [short pause.] Time passed.
B: The whole town lost its sense of time. They abandoned their tasks –
A: Listened to him late into the night –
B: Listened to him late into the morning –
A: Inventing a new smile after an old one –
B: Losing the next smile just like the last one –
A: Meanwhile the people clamoured around him, calling him –
B: Freedom –
A: Joy –
B: Banisher of woes.
A: [pause.] Time passed.
B: The whole town ran out of smiles –
A: Except a little boy who would break into a smile only when no one was watching.
B: With a plain face, he was the sole member of the audience while the smile-catcher tried to win him over.


A: The smile-catcher ran out of stories.
B: He asked the little boy:
A: Boy, why do you never smile? I do wish you would smile.
B: And the boy said to him:
A: Because of you, my friends have lost their smiles. I shall not smile again until they can smile as well.

[Long pause, as A dithers.]

B: [Prompting] Does the smile-catcher return the smiles?
A: I’m not sure. Is this a sad story?
B: Some stories are sad.

Tim Atkin and Isobel Leidler

He stops painting the eyes. The eyes increasingly disappear. He becomes more interested in the dark, scooped out sockets that always remain in shadow. [pause.] Their mouths are gaping, without grace, making indistinct noises. A sound like braying, coming from a wounded animal, sinking towards its death.

Ellen McGrath, Tim Atkin and Isobel Leidler
Ellen McGrath
Tim Atkin, Ellen McGrath and Isobel Leidler
Tim Atkin dancing
Tim Atkin
Tim Atkin and Ellen McGrath
Isobel Leidler, Kyung Oh, Josh McClure, Rosa Tyler-Clark, Johnny King, Tim Atkin and Ellen McGrath
Isobel Leidler, Josh McClure, Rosa Tyler-Clark, Johnny King, Kyung Oh, Tim Atkin and Ellen McGrath

A – Ellen McGrath
B – Tim Atkin
C – Isobel Laidler
Production Team
Writer, Co-director – Kyung Oh
Co-director – Rosa Tyler-Clark
Producer – Josh McClure
Photographer – Aska Welford
Lighting Designer – Johnny King
Photographer – Johannes Hjorth

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